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Damaris Medina v. Board of Review

March 14, 2012

DAMARIS MEDINA, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REVIEW, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND THE CITY OF CAMDEN, RESPONDENTS.



On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 278,751.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 28, 2012 -

Before Judges Yannotti and Espinosa.

Damaris Medina appeals from a final agency decision that she was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. We affirm.

Medina was employed by the City of Camden (the City) as a clerk from August 12, 2002 to March 3, 2010. When first employed, Medina began her shift at 8:30 a.m. In approximately June 2008, she was assigned to a shift that began at 9:00 a.m. Then, in June 2009, she asked to return to a shift beginning at 8:30 a.m. because her daughter had to attend summer school. Medina testified that this was to be a temporary assignment for the summer and that she was to resume the 9:00 a.m. shift in September. However, she said her four requests for that change were denied.

During the period from September 9, 2009 and March 3, 2010, Medina came to work at 9:00 a.m. despite her 8:30 a.m. start time. Medina is a single parent and had no one else to drive her children to school. She stated she was late because there was no morning child care available and the earliest she could drop off her children for grade school was 8:15 a.m. Although the drive from the school to work was approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, the trip could be extended to one-half hour by traffic and inclement weather.

Unable to accommodate Medina's request to return to the 9:00 a.m. shift, the City took the half-hour of work that she missed each day from her sick and vacation time and then started taking disciplinary action against Medina. Medina and her attorney met with representatives of the City. A settlement agreement resolving all pending disciplinary charges was reached, stating in part:

1.) Damaris Medina will be involuntarily separated from employment with the City of Camden, effective March 3, 2010. She will be entitled to her salary and benefits through this date. Continued Health Benefits will terminate on April 30, 2010;

2.) The City agrees that it shall not contest her unemployment application and will cooperate with her in connection with her application for unemployment;

3.) All pending disciplinary charges shall be withdrawn and Ms. Medina agrees that she waives any right to contest her separation from employment or file any lawsuits in connection with her employment excluding any pending workers' compensation claims; and

4.) This agreement is non-precedential and in entering this agreement, neither party admits to any wrongdoing.

Medina filed a claim for unemployment benefits. The Deputy Director of the Division of Unemployment Insurance found her ...


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